Chesapeake's King sizes up nicely as two-way threat

OPENING HIS OPTIONS

August 29, 1993|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Contributing Writer

Lamar King has run through many options during his football career at Chesapeake High in Essex.

He has played a variety of positions for the Bayhawks and has done it all in style -- his own quiet and reserved style. King would rather show what he can do on the field, than talk about it off the field.

Maybe that is why the 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior speaks softly, but runs fast and hits so hard.

Last season, King averaged 10 tackles per game. This year he wants to make it 13.

"I can tell from last year that I'm a lot faster," said King, who will split time at tight end and linebacker. "I think this position [tight end] is the best position for me."

King played at tight end for the final two games last season and first-year Bayhawks coach Richard Zentz is confident King will pose a threat at that position this year.

"At tight end, people have to take him up high and at running back they would take him down at the knees where he could get a knee or ankle injury," Zentz said. "At running back he would get pounded and at linebacker he will be pounding away. Putting him at tight end would give him a chance to recoup a little."

King said, "I knew I had to change positions. I got taller and everybody had to go to my knees to take me down."

King runs the 40 in 4.75 seconds and can bench press 300 pounds.

4 "For his size he has great agility," Zentz said.

Size was once a disadvantage for King. He was 6-0, 200 pounds when he was 12, which was too big to play in the recreation leagues.

"I would always go up to weigh in and when I was over the limit they would tell me to wait until I got to high school," King said.

King was a punter and defensive end in his freshman season. He averaged over 40 yards per punt and went on to earn second team All-Metro honors.

He went on to rush for over 900 yards at running back during his sophomore season and repeated as a second team All-Metro selection.

Zentz, who previously coached at Dundalk High, is no stranger to King's effect on the field.

"We scrimmaged Chesapeake my last year at Dundalk, and Lamar was a sophomore," Zentz said. "Even then you could see he was a special athlete. Now he's bigger and faster and very impressive on the field."

Last year King had nine touchdowns, rushed for 858 yards and had 101 tackles with 19 assists.

Those statistics got him noticed by a variety of Division I programs from Maryland to Michigan.

"Ever since I was little I've wanted to play Division I football. When I was growing up my favorite team was Penn State. I used to watch them all the time," said King, who hopes to play linebacker in college.

Zentz, who was wearing a Penn State hat and shirt during Friday's morning practice, isn't surprised King grew up watching "Linebacker U." after observing his demeanor on the field.

"We've been trying to preach to these guys to do things simply," Zentz said. "Lamar is one of the guys who has completely been receptive to the new things we're doing. He knows what to do and picks up nuances quickly."

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